The Extreme E tech we could see in the road cars of the future


The penultimate round of the Extreme E season took place this weekend with the Copper X-Prix held in Chile.

An entertaining race weekend saw the X44 team claim victory, but only after NEOM McLaren XE crossed the line first and saw a time penalty applied.

Indeed, it was arguably McLaren’s best weekend of the season so far, with Emma Gilmour and Tanner Foust driving the Odyssey vehicle.

A seriously fast electric off-road car, part of Extreme E’s mission is to bring new, sustainable technology to the masses in due time, and we spoke to Tanner to see what elements he thinks will carry over to the road cars on time:

“I would say there’s probably a whole list of innovations in construction, materials used, material recycling,” Foust said.

“But from a driving perspective you have something that will definitely make its way into road cars and that’s the complexity of torque vectoring, you can literally choose where you send the power depending on the steering angle, depending on the side load and depending on braking and speed.You can send the power in different areas, which allows you to cheat the physics a bit.

“In the past, you could only turn by changing the direction of the front tyres. But now you can send the power to different places to help them move the car forward, kind of like canoeing, you know, paddling out of a canoe to turn.

“Once you get really creative with this technology, you really use more of the available physics and increase the performance and possibly the safety of cars. So I think that side of things definitely comes across in trams.

Emma Gilmour and Tanner Foust at the Copper X-Prix
McLaren Extreme-E drivers Emma Gilmour and Tanner Foust

“But again there’s a whole range of battery challenges and with Williams providing batteries they learn a huge amount from competing in a world like this. And so I’m sure some of that data will eventually come back into road cars.


Interview: Emma Gilmour discusses the growth of Extreme E and improving opportunities for women in motorsport

Interview: Tanner Foust gets acquainted with an Extreme E car and his first year with McLaren

Extreme E Interview: Emma Gilmour and Tanner Foust present the Copper X-Prix and discuss the season so far

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